Punjab Governor yet to submit reply to LHC in PTI plea

From Abid Usman

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday accepted Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman’s request to be granted more time to submit a response regarding a PTI petition seeking the announcement of a date for elections in the province.
The PTI on Jan 27 had approached the LHC, seeking its order for the Punjab governor to immediately announce a date of an election in the province since the assembly had been dissolved. The ECP had recommended the elections be held between April 9 and 17.
The petition, filed through PTI General Secretary Asad Umar, stated that more than 10 days had passed since the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly but Governor Rehman had failed to fulfil his constitutional duty of announcing an election date.
Justice Jawad Hassan, who presided over yesterday’s hearing, directed the respondent — the Punjab governor — to submit a detailed response to the court before the next hearing, which he adjourned till Feb 9. In a tweet yesterday, Umar said: “Today’s court hearing has almost clarified that Punjab Assembly elections will be held in the second week of April.” He called on PTI workers to start preparing for the elections.
At the outset of the hearing today, the court asked the ECP lawyer about the date on which they plan to hold the provincial elections.
The lawyer responded: “We are ready to hold the elections. There has been a new development Thursday regarding this; the governor has responded to the ECP’s letter.

“The governor has asked the ECP to hold a discussion with all the stakeholders.”

Justice Hassan remarked: “It is mentioned in the Consitution that the elections should be held within 90 days [of the assembly’s dissolution].”

The court asked: “How can you say that the economic situation has worsened? Even in the past, the economic situation has been bad but the elections were conducted.